I recently saw a YouTube short by a light-skinned woman titled "Who Cares If Your Business Is Black Owned", where she argues that it doesn't matter. This brought a few questions to mind that I've yet to address.
Does This Extend to All Races Or Just Blacks?
Asians quietly support each other primarily and already have a sense of community. Mexicans (Hispanics) do the same thing. Whites overtly support choose each other first as they're most likely to be better networked. Many Blacks are trying to rebuild our community, instead of blindly buying fully into integration. It's not segregation, simply assisting those who we relate to most. That is natural.
What About Other Minority-Owned Businesses?
I've written about non-Blacks speaking on how Blacks should [not] focus on our own. And I've noticed some anti-Black misandry as women bypass "Black-owned" for "Black woman-owned" or "minority woman-owned" businesses. I'm not knocking it as I jump at the chance to support Black men-owned businesses and Black Veteran-owned businesses. I own it. I don't half-ass my explanation about caring where my money goes. So many of us purchase products and services from companies that covertly push gun control, abortion, and other laws which go against their best interests. The YouTube short doesn't allude to any sense of community.
What's her ethnicity and stance on supporting women-owned businesses? If her stance is that it doesn't matter what a company does as long as you get the product or service you purchased, cool. But where does that sense of community begin? I wish that had been made clearly. Unfortunately, I'm too lazy right now to find the full video which may offer more context.
Do Black Businesses Push Race as the Reason to Buy?
A few things here.
First, I don't support any Black-owned business that "pushes race before why you should buy from them." At most, it may be stated in the website footer, social media posts, and maybe the social media bio. It is usually us content creators curating "Black-owned" listacles who "push" the Black first (#B1) narrative while trying to capitalize on search engine optimization (SEO).
Secondly, I won't speak for others but I've written plenty about supporting Black businesses in an effort to improve the Black community and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). It's bigger than race. It's about the community. And I produce that content specifically for Blacks.
Covert Racism and Pro-Integration
As stated before, I don't see Black business owners pushing the #BuyBlack and #SupportBlackBusiness hashtags often. They're not trying to guilt anyone into a handout. Many are subtle, if they mention it at all, and focus more on negating the negative stereotype that Black Americans seemingly vocalize more than anyone else:
Black-owned businesses have bad customer service!
Dr. Claud Anderson stated many times in his PowerNomics book and interviews that racism is the act of acting on prejudice with power, something Black folks severely lack in the United States. Nothing above matches this or any logical definition of racism that comes to mind. All I see is situational awareness, understanding of customer's needs, and acknowledgment that many White American (or European American) people, and sadly some Black Americans, don't want to support Black-operated businesses. That isn't covert or overt racism.
That is called seeking equality in a so-called "integrated" country.
The argument that a company is exercising covert racism by mentioning being "Black-owned" is interesting. A bunch of people replied to the YouTube video in question stating that they won't support a business that advertises as "Black-owned." Many I saw didn't explain why or said they refused because felt shamed to do so. That appears to be true covert racism. That brings up a question about why?
- Do they feel guilty for being racist?
- Does seeing "Black-owned" remind them that racism exists or that they know far less about it than they're willing to admit?
- Are they afraid of a day when the Black American community becomes a cohesive unit like other ethnicities/races, instead of depending entirely on hope that the pro-integration mindset will benefit us?
- Are they trying to maintain legally-supported White supremacy (WS)?
Either way, such comments against supporting Black-owned businesses encourage me more than anything to "buy Black" and create content about it more often. I'm only making up for those who won't buy because it says "Black-owned," while slowly encouraging other Black Americans/ADOS/Freedman/FBA to do the same. It is somewhat similar to HBCUs except no amount of donations can (nor should it have to) replace the amount of money intentionally withheld for purely malicious reasons.
I've found it difficult to get the "why" on this stance. If you're curious too about reasons not to support Black-owned organizations, please share my Tweet, Mastodon post, YouTube short, and RallyPoint.com discussion.
From the YouTube short:
In 2022 I wrote a lot of blog posts about Black-owned businesses I've supported and why I support Black-owned businesses. Since I've started engaging in more discussions about Black culture, I've noticed more subtle ways that people oppose the Buy Black First, or B1, movement. I'll talk more about this soon. But for now, I want to see if those individuals will directly openly explain themselves. I've asked this question on Twitter and Mastodon at "JtSpratley." Okay. To those applicable, why do you not support a Black-owned business if it openly advertises as black-owned? Let me simplify it. If you find a new business, see "Black-owned," and decide not to buy there, why did you make that decision?
To the people who say they will not #SupportBlackBusiness if it openly advertises as "Black-owned business" (#BlackOwnedBusiness #blackowned), why? I want every #blackentrepreneur to share and follow this thread.— Jt (@jtspratley) January 3, 2023
Let me know if there are any questions related to this topic that I didn't answer. Thanks for reading. Black businesses matter.